My mouth opens wide to a multicolor madness of modeling
and believe me, there are no catwalks for these.

Speckled dots rest like tossed confetti across the molars 
because pharmaceutical intervention for Scarlet Fever from childhood
destroys enamel beneath baby gums and will surface only if the infant survives

Well, here I am…ready to celebrate.
Open-bite and crooked grinned.
Metal braces and oral contraptions fought and pulled to make me smile like a homecoming queen,
And lost the fight in a years-long battle with natural elements.

The irony of having a mouth full of crowns now.
Royalty, indeed!

If I went to Vegas I’d bet it all
but keep my signature closed-mouth grin from revealing the royalty therein.
I wonder which suit they’d be:

Hearts for my  decades-long desire to find a full smile?
Diamonds for the shine that will never be?
Clubs for the enamel that doesn’t break?
Spades for the winter white that I long to see?

You’ll catch them when my guard is down–

Laughing full, wide-mouthed and shouting joy
or when my love enters the room and surprises me with a tender touch
These pearlies shine with imperfect light
They are my working class teeth.
The perfect fit for me.

Today, I smile.